Coupon: (n) a discount

There is a certain madness I maintain so as not to become superior to those around me.

Without it—or minus the awareness of it—I might begin to believe that my form of insanity is preferred to the mental mayhem offered daily by others. I realize that many of the things I think, believe or prefer can be quite distasteful to my fellow-travelers.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Yet truthfully, realizing this does not prevent me from believing that I have captured some greater sense of balance than those around me.

I offer this preface because I do not want you to believe for one second that what I am about to share is factual, but rather, the experience of my heart.

I hate coupons.

Do not try to explain to me how beneficial they can be or how much money you can save by using them.

On occasion, I find myself at a grocery store, in line behind some man or woman who clips coupons so as to save on groceries. They rarely bring one or two—it is a stack.

So once all the prices have been tallied, the cashier has to patiently stand there, and one by one register the coupons on the machine, to deduct them from the subtotal.

And it’s not just being robbed of my personal time that brings aggravation—it is also the look of pride cast in my direction by the “couponer” which curdles my milk of human-kindness. He or she is convinced that they have found the secret to life, and they pity me, who stands there coupon-less, failing to understand the alpha and omega of shopping.

I can’t argue with their results.

I have observed people who have saved over a hundred dollars by using those little boogers.

But I always ask myself, how many hours are spent poring over circulars and newspapers in order to acquire the discount—and have they factored this in as a labor cost?

I think not.

Even though the cashier always asks me if I have coupons, I never feel intimidated, or any sense of necessity to explain why I remain a hold-out from the hold-up.

I will shop.

I will look for deals.

I will even consider something on sale that I’ve never tried before simply because it is cheap.

But when I was six years old, I stopped using scissors to cut out little pieces of paper.

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Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acupuncture: (n.) a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain or treat various physical, mental and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, it is now a widely-accepted practice all over the world. 

“Widely accepted practice.” What does that mean?

Sometimes I think books like the dictionary or magazines—or even newscasts—want to appear hip and cool by portraying that oddities are actually not quite as odd as we might first think.

Recently I watched a report on television about how over half the world considers eating grasshoppers to be a great source of nutrition. Grasshoppers, they reported, have even more protein than steak. I must be candid. I had absolutely no inkling to go out, fire up the grill and barbecue myself twelve ounces of locusts.

It’s the same way I feel about acupuncture. I realize that I risk coming across ignorant—maybe inflexible.

About three years ago my daughter-in-law suggested that I go to one of those locations where they perform acupuncture, to alleviate some of the pain in my knee. She had a coupon.

That’s the first thing that struck me as humorous. How does one acquire an acupuncture coupon? But I digress…

She explained that really normal people have begun to have needles stuck into their skin at very intricate places, so as to stimulate healing and relief of pain. Here’s what I think: I think one of the most uncomfortable things in the world is anxiety, and the idea of having someone from China putting needles in my skin makes me a bit anxious. So through my fits of terror, how would I know if I was any better??

Now, I realize this is not a very enlightened view, and I’m sure as time goes on, we will discover that acupuncture has great benefit.

But in the barnyard of life, I would rather cower in the stables or chicken out in the coop than be one of the initial guinea pigs.

See what I mean? I’m going to wait for all the recommendations to come in, and probably for them to come up with an ACME Home Acupuncture kit before I participate.

I think I hurt my daughter-in-law’s feelings. She probably thinks I’m a stubborn old man. But make that a stubborn old man MINUS needles in his skin.